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If your brother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers … you shall not consent to him or listen to him. (Deuteronomy 13:6,8)

As we have addressed before, when it comes to deceiving or destroying God’s people, the preferred tactic of the Adversary is to attack from within rather than without. The closer he can get to us to seduce us, the better. Remember that Sanballat, pretending to be a willing and helpful neighbor to Nehemiah, actually desired to get into the midst of the Jews to destroy them. Consider that in all of Israel’s modern wars, when attacked from the outside, they have always come out victorious. Most of their struggles have been when they have been attacked come from within, as in the different Intifadas. Thus, the greatest danger is not what lies without but what might be lying within.

In the beginning, the serpent was allowed to get into the “midst” of the garden and then used that opportunity to entice and deceive the woman with his words. In effect he seduced her, and in turn her husband, to go after other gods. It was bad enough that Adam had allowed him entry into the sacred space, but to allow his wife to be led astray by his words was, obviously, catastrophic. Then there is this — he heeded the voice of his wife rather than the Voice of His God. The commandment is clear, when it comes to going after “other gods” and their philosophies, we are not to give ear to anyone, regardless of how close they are to us. 

In a congregational setting, Moses goes on to describe how anyone who would try to lead others astray should be handled. Obviously, we are not suggesting to go that far with a response, however, there does need to be a resolve within us to take a stand against such. Even those closest to you should not be allowed to freely lead you or your family astray and it is not wrong to take a stand against it, and if need be, put distance between you. Some would interpret this as cruel but, for the sake of the body at large, it is sometime necessary and, in reality, born out of love and concern. As the days become more perilous, we will all be put to the test to demonstrate whether or not we will stand for His truth and so, let us not heed the voices that seek to undermine our faith and confidence in Him. Let us hear His Voice and His Voice only.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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